Scottish child payment to double from April

Published on: 
29 November 2021
Written by: 

John Dickie

Director of CPAG in Scotland

"Hugely welcome”: Child poverty campaigners respond to FM’s conference commitment to double Scottish child payment from April

Responding to the First Minister’s speech to the SNP’s annual conference today the Director of the Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) in Scotland, John Dickie, said:

“The First Minister’s commitment to double the new Scottish child payment in the coming year is a hugely welcome development on the path to meeting Scotland’s child poverty targets. This is a real lifeline for the families across Scotland who are facing a perfect storm of financial insecurity as the UK cut to universal credit bites, energy prices soar and the wider costs of living rise”.

 

The First Ministers speech came on the back of new polling published earlier today for the End Child Poverty coalition that showed a clear majority of the Scottish public back the doubling of the payment immediately.

 

Mr Dickie continued;

 

“We know that behind these statistics lie tens of thousands of families who are having to make impossible choices between paying the bills, putting food on the table or getting into debt. This poverty is causing untold stress and undermining children’s health, wellbeing and education. For them this breakthrough increase to the Scottish child payment cannot come soon enough.

 

Ends

Notes

  1. The Child Poverty (Scotland) Act 2017 requires Scottish Ministers to ensure less than 18% of children are living in poverty by 2023/24 and less than 10% of children are living in poverty by 2030. The latest official statistics (for 2019/20) show that 26% of children (260 000 children) were living in poverty in Scotland. 68% of children in poverty live in working families.
  2. The Scottish child payment currently provides £10 per week per child to children under six in low income families. The Scottish government has committed to rolling out the payment to eligible under 16 year olds by end 2022. In meantime bridging payment are being paid for some school aged children in receipt of free school meals.
  3. The SNP manifesto committed to doubling the payment by the end of the Parliament with the First Minister subsequently saying this would be “as early within the life of this Parliament as possible” following a letter in August from over 100 trade unions, faith groups, children’ charities, women’s organisations and social policy academics. The same coalition wrote to the Finance Secretary earlier this month urging her to use next week’s Scottish budget to double the Scottish child payment immediately.
  4. Fraser of Allander analysis concludes “The good news is that, based on the assumption of broad economic recovery over the next few years, our analysis shows that meeting these targets is possible with the powers that the Scottish Government currently hold. However, it will require substantial investment to make it a reality.”